Summer wouldn’t feel like summer without a trip to our friend’s lakehouse an hour and a half north of the city. It’s pristine waters, good company, good food, and a chance to escape everyday life. It’s a secret pocket tucked away that remains hidden from time. No running water or electricity; there is phone service, but it’s pretty much the only thing that connects you to modern life.
It was a good way to cap off the month as we headed into the last week of July.
Wow. July. It’s almost hard to process. So much packed into this month. And while it’s pretty unbelievable that we’re facing August tomorrow, July felt long, like we lived through a whole summer.
On the job front, it’s been a wild ride that took us a bit by surprise. We officially pivoted the company after a 3 day hack project took over our time and captured users’ attentions. We went to market with Meerkat, but three weeks ago we opened up Katch to Periscope users and the reception was crazy. Seems like being able to archive live videos that was meant to be ephemeral struck a chord. It’s pretty amazing to witness something that you helped create go viral with its users because they are truly excited and believe in your service. We’re in an amazing position right now and the product is just getting started, but the road to here was not without its bumps. Live stream video is still in its infancy, but the community very much feels like the very early days of blogging and twitter, and I’ve been meeting new people online in a way that hasn’t happened in a long time. This part is exciting. Nobody knows where any of this is heading, but our startup does hope that we can help shape the future of mobile video – lofty goals I know, but you can dream big.
If you’re on the Periscope app, we’d love to connect with you. You can find us at whimsyandspice. We’ve done a few streams so far and as self conscious as we are sometimes, it’s been fun! Last weekend, we streamed the making of this watermelon feta salad. If you missed it, you can watch the replay on katch.me
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Took a morning off last week to visit the new Whitney Museum, a much delayed visit after we unsuccessfully attempted to go on opening day. I love how the city is as much an integral part of the museum experience as the artwork it houses. There’s something about the architecture of the new building that blurs the outside with the in. There are outdoor spaces that connect each floor with an exterior staircase, and couches line up opposite large windows for expansive city views on some of the gallery floors. The move from the Upper East side to the Meatpacking District where the High Line ends was a great move, and the new Whitney feels just as airy as the old building felt heavy and oppressive.
We haven’t had too many city adventures this summer. We usually have a checklist of favorite activities and places we like to hit up every year and we’ve barely touched it. Summer’s usually when we spend large amounts of time together, but everyone in the family’s got their own thing going on at the moment. We spend our days apart, and come together in the evenings. It seems unlikely we’ll make a dent in our list at all, but it does seem inevitable that this is what life will increasingly look like as the girls get older.
One thing that’s really changed for me in the past year is that I rarely go out at night anymore. To be honest, I don’t really miss it, but the rare times that I do is during summer evenings. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside as the sun goes down with some kind of drink in hand, the city buzzing around you. Will need to do that at least once or twice before the weather gets too cool. Hope you’re having a great summer.
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I look at these photos taken in upstate NY last weekend and think how serene these images look. Summer calm. They encapsulate what Northeast summers feel like – hazy and green, the air kissed with humidity. We’re experiencing the season in handful of moments like these and doing the best we can to savor it because the truth is, when you’re in a retail-based business, you’re already thinking and preparing for the next season ahead. Holiday inquiries are starting to come in. It’s a weird head space to be in sometimes because I’ve always had a hard time focusing on the present. This doesn’t exactly help
But if it’s only pockets of time that we have at the moment to truly enjoy summer together, we’re doing a bang up job cramming as much as we can in, to the point where Miss C lamented with a sigh that she wished we stayed home some weekend so that she can “nap on the couch.”
Kids. So dramatic. But I’ll admit that I wouldn’t mind a weekend away from the car. Back-to-back weekend road trips have been hectic. We haven’t slowed down all summer.
I can’t remember a time when I wanted – no, needed! – more hours in the day. There’s a lot going on; things are happening (I think!) and it’s been good. But as is my nature, it’s never enough, and I need more time. Sometimes I ask myself, why is that? Why is it never enough? But I usually just shrug it off even though I often feel like I’m hanging on by a thread.
I read all these articles on simplifying your life and think to myself that it sounds really nice, but life is complicated and sometimes even messy. I’m starting to acknowledge that I think I prefer it this way. It’s a state that I think I thrive in, which sounds really weird I know, but my mind is at far more at ease when there’s too much going on than when there isn’t. The irony at play here is that I feel like I’m in a constant state of trying to organize the chaos.
Humans are funny.
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I wouldn’t recommend taking a trip to DC during the 4th of July holiday. Whoa, the crowds and heightened security. We didn’t really think it through and missed all the fireworks that we had planned on seeing. We decided not to stick around for the big display at the National Mall, and instead waited for fireworks that was planned for the end of a minor league baseball game near my cousin’s house where we were staying. The thing is, you never quite know when a baseball game might end. Of course this one went extra innings…and it kept going…and going…until we finally gave up at 10:30 when thick fog started rolling in. No fireworks this year, but it was a great holiday weekend just the same (by the way, do go here if you ever get a chance).
This summer feels different. Busier, hectic.
The entire month of July is booked solid. The kids are in camp every day for 6 weeks because of the job, and since camp is longer than school hours, their days are full. They’re having the best time, but I do miss sleeping in on mornings and lazy days at home for week-long stretches at a time. Picnics in the park. Zooming around the neighborhood in scooters. Running through playground sprinklers to cool off. Trips to the museum, just me and the girls. How did these simple summer pleasures already become a thing of the past?
It used to be that time slowed down in the summer, partly because of unstructured days (and let’s face it, a little boredom), but this summer we wake up each morning and pack swim suits and lunches and rush out the door, often to humidity and heat that envelops us as we make our way through the neighborhood. And when I get back, I head right to work.
The big change that’s different this year? Independence for our new middle schooler. I thought I’d be a bit more nervous letting her walk to and from camp by herself every day, but the thing that I thought would be a big deal turned out to be a non-event. As it should be. And this is how we start letting go.
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And just like that, another school year is over and summer vacation is here. Where does the time go, we all ask ourselves. I see it on the Facebook posts of my friends and in the school yard at pick up on the last day. The faces of some of the 5th grade girls – tentative, a little bit vulnerable, clutching on to their friends (some for the last time, I’m sure) – was a bit heartbreaking. I felt for them because we’ve all been there and I still remember what it felt like to transition from one school to the next. In those transitional years, the arrival of summer vacation is mixed with celebratory relief, but also some anxiety at the unfamiliar that’s to come down the road in 2 months. As an adult you think how glad you are to not have to go through those awkward school years again, but when you have kids, you do sort of relive it again through them. Sometimes it feels completely surreal and weird.
We started off summer this weekend bumbling around the North Fork of Long Island, stopping at familiar spots that we hadn’t visited in awhile. The weather was unusually cool, but the pace of summer was undeniably present.
Being at the beach in that particular area made me think about the summer we rented a house when the girls were small. Perhaps it’s because we had just attended a 5th grade graduation ceremony, but I was feeling extra nostalgic. I asked the girls to humor me and hold hands down the road like they did so many years ago in one of my favorite photos of summer. I wanted to compare the photos and see how they’ve grown. Cheesy, I know. They rolled their eyes and groaned at me, but they did it after some coaxing. Just to humor their sentimental mom.
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